Kruse confident of beating Jeju

Melbourne striker Robbie Kruse believes Victory's AFC Champions League campaign has gone from strength to strength and that they can put themselves in the running for the group of 16 with a win over Jeju United in South Korea on Wednesday.

Melbourne striker Robbie Kruse believes Victory's AFC Champions League campaign has gone from strength to strength and that they can put themselves in the running for the group of 16 with a win over Jeju United in South Korea on Wednesday.

Kruse returns from suspension for the match, which Melbourne have to win to be any hope of getting through.

Should Gamba Osaka lose at home to already qualified Tianjin, then three points will book Victory's progression, something that seemed very unlikely when they lost the first two games of the campaign.

The mathematics may seem improbable, but Kruse thinks his team can complete their part of the deal and record the club's first ever away win in the ACL.

"It's going to be a good test this game. Jeju have to win as well. It's going to be a big match and I'm pretty confident we can get a good victory over there," he said.

Only the top team from each group qualify for a home round of 16 match and Kruse feels the fact that Tianjin are not assured of top spot ahead of their clash against Gamba gives Victory a shot.

"It's going to be tough. Tianjin are already through. But you want to come top. If they lose, they don't come top and they don't host their round of 16 match. It's still pretty important for them," he said.

What encourages Kruse is the performance in last week's 1-1 draw against Gamba Osaka. Kruse watched from the sidelines as Melbourne dominated but were held at home and thinks that the signs are positive for a strong showing in Korea.

"Gamba are one of the powerhouses of Asian football. It was definitely a good test of the team and I think we definitely came out played some good football. Second half we had most of the chances, they only had one shot," he said,

"We were definitely unlucky not to win it. We had a handball shout turned down, maybe another penalty, the luck hasn't been our way in this Champions League."

"Hopefully we can carry that on. Hopefully, we can get a win and luck can be on our side and we can get through the group."

Kruse will likely come in to replace Isaka Cernak, who is suspended for this match, but said he is not concerned about whether he plays left, right or in the middle in what could be his last game for the club.

"I probably prefer to play on the left side. We usually switch through the game anyway. I'm a bit of a whinger, so if I'm not getting the ball I'll automatically switch anyway," he said.

And while Kruse's time in Melbourne may be set to finish, with his move to Fortuna Dusseldorf now confirmed, he feels he is leaving a club in rude health under the guidance of caretaker Mehmet Durakovic.

"Especially with the change, as soon as someone new comes in, the players all have to lift. Everyone is fighting for a position, and I think there is a new enthusiasm around the team. Someone new, something fresh, to gave the boys a lift and Mehm has done a fantastic job," he said.